Author Topic: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber  (Read 6353 times)

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Offline Brian da Basher

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Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« on: January 14, 2009, 04:01:38 pm »
The February, 1940 sinking of the U.S.S. Reuben Kincaid with the loss of all hands by a Nazi U-boat brought America quickly into the war and gave a real sense of urgency to the U.S. Army's bomber competition. The Boeing and Consolidated prototypes crashed during test flights and the North American proposal carried too small a bombload over too short a range which left Lockheed's XB-30 the winner.

The B-30 Constellation could carry 25,000 lbs. of bombs over a 3,500 mile range and reach an altitude of 40,000 feet and a top speed of 385 m.p.h. It had a crew of 11 and good defensive armament of five .50 cal. machine guns (2 under the nose, one on a top nose blister and two more on side blisters) as well as two .60 cal. machine guns in a top turret and two .37 m.m. rapid-fire cannons in the tail and a remote-controlled belly turret.

The example shown here, "Poster Girl" of the 913th bomb group, began operations from English airfields in January, 1941 by bombing Nazi sub pens along the French coast. Later, it took part in "shuttle bombing" missions against the Schweinhund ball bearing works in eastern Germany. Large U.S. flags were painted on the rudders so Russian gunners wouldn't mistake them for enemy planes when flying over Soviet airspace during those missions.

The B-30 was beloved by its pilots and crews as the "Connie" but woe to any green crews heard calling it the Constellation as they would get an earful from the mechanics who called it the "Consternation" due to the frequent maintenance its high-compression engines required.

The B-30 was produced until the end of the war and was used in training and early air-to-air refueling until the 1950s. Today only three exist, and "Poster Girl" can be seen at the Eighth Air Force museum in Gumbyshire, Kent near the Plantagenet planetarium where you can see many constellations after dark.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 04:29:13 pm by Brian da Basher »

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2009, 04:02:49 pm »
Well done!  The camouflage reminds me of the USAAC/USAAF aircraft that were deployed to the Aleutian islands. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 04:07:56 pm by Jeffry Fontaine »
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2009, 04:10:59 pm »
The basis of this project was a box-scale Monogram Constellation I picked up for $10 recently while getting some airline decals at Airline Hobby Supplies. They had it listed under Other Brands and scale as ? (close to 1/144). I was expecting Zengdengfu or Stirfix or maybe even Merlin or (shudder) Mach 2. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be Monogram.

Just in case you're wondering if there was a real Constellation bomber, here's what the proposal looked like:





Of course, mine was going to be a little bit different...

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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009, 04:18:06 pm »
I started by replacing the kit rudders with those from a 1/72 B-25 and smash-forming nose glazing using the kit nose cone as a mold. Unsuccessful attempts at this were recycled as the upper nose blister and the side blisters. I used the nose guns from a B-36 under the nose and I used one of the B-36 sighting blisters for the tail gunner. The belly turret was from a B-29. Most of the work on this was filling in the kit fuselage windows. I didn't do a perfect job, but after five PSR sessions, it was good enough. Where I had some divots, I painted in a couple of small black windows. The decals were from spares, but the posters used came from a RoG 1/72 Nieuport 28. This first shot shows that nicely, and the poster reads "Fight or Buy Bonds!" and shows Lady Liberty near a sinking ship which fit the backstory nicely.

Brian da Basher

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2009, 04:21:49 pm »
The entire model was brush-painted by hand with acrylics. I used Model Masters Dark Earth (looks like faded OD to me) and Euro Green on the uppers and Navy Gray on the undersides. Poly Scale Italian Green was used on the interior and cheap craft-store Gunmetal was used on the guns.

I had a lot of fun on this project, but if I don't have to fill in any fuselage windows for a while, that will be ok by me.

Brian da Basher

Offline Maverick

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2009, 04:29:30 pm »
Super build Brian and the scalloped edged cammies are sweet!

Regards,

Mav

Offline Eddie M.

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2009, 04:31:53 pm »
That is superb! I really like the look. It fits like a glove. ;D
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Offline cthulhu77

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2009, 04:44:18 pm »
Oh, that is perfect !  How do you get any sleep...you seem to produce build after build, after build.... :bow:

Offline Cobra

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2009, 04:47:09 pm »
Awesome Job!!!!!!! any plans to try Something like that with a 747 or the Concorde????? Again,Awesome Job!!!! Thanks for Posting!!!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :bow:

Offline The Rat

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 04:49:53 pm »
My gast is completely flabbered, excellent!  :wub:
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2009, 04:52:55 pm »
Excellent Brian, I'd never heard of Lockheed's proposal for a real Connie Bomber before now.

Did they retain the pressurisation for the crew, and if so did it have an access tube across the bomb bay, like the B-36, to get to the rear fuselage stations?
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

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Kit

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2009, 04:57:07 pm »
Excellent Brian, I'd never heard of Lockheed's proposal for a real Connie Bomber before now.

Did they retain the pressurisation for the crew, and if so did it have an access tube across the bomb bay, like the B-36, to get to the rear fuselage stations?

I wish I knew, kit. It would be nice to think it was fully pressurized. This project never made it past the drawing board/desk model stage, so there's not a lot of info about it.

Mr Fontaine, I'm glad this reminded you of one of your many homes.
 :cheers:
Brian da Basher

Offline noxioux

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2009, 05:19:11 pm »
That's a great looking bird!  I like the sleek profile.  Svelte!

Offline Green Dragon

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2009, 05:55:33 pm »
Looks great Brian, like the change to twin fin tail. You've beaten Anigrands kit too! As it was designed for the same spec as the B-29 I would think all crew compartments would be pressurised.

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Offline Dork the kit slayer

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Re: Lockheed B-30 Connie bomber
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2009, 05:58:32 pm »
Nice job Brian :thumbsup:......alas to me the old "connie" dont just look the part as a bomber.
I remember trying that many years ago with the original Revell kit(fit the box scale),
to my eye the old girl is just too elegant.

Takes nothing away from your build though........................just an old fart musing. :drink:
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